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If You Want A Job Done Right Do It Yourself - From The Jacksonville Time Union, August 24th, by Rachel Davis, "The family of Scott Speicher, a Navy pilot lost on the opening night of the Gulf War, sent a letter to Iraqi officials over the weekend requesting a meeting to discuss his fate. Cindy Laquidara, the family's Jacksonville lawyer, declined to say who delivered the letter or to whom."
"This action comes days after President Bush, for the first time, used Speicher's fate as part of his argument for action in Iraq in a speech to the United Nations. However, Laquidara said the timing was coincidental and the family had been planning to establish direct contact with Iraqi officials for some time."
"The government is handling a number of matters, and we certainly haven't severed any relations. There are certain things that just don't involve the government, like a personal plea," the family's lawyer said today. "This is something we need to do on our own."
"Laquidara said she has received some information about the letter being delivered and is waiting to hear back from Iraqi officials."
The Iraqi Position - Iraq has always maintained that Scott Speicher did not survive his incident. They also maintain that they are not manufacturing, purchasing or storing weapons of mass destruction. Which lie will they admit to first? Or will they get caught red handed? Will the unraveling of one lie lead to the unraveling of the other?
What would happen if the Iraqi government admitted to holding Scott Speicher.....
We Need An Option - In the current political climate, we certainly can't depend on the Iraqi government to return Scott Speicher. That is why we need an option.
That option is S 1339, the "Speicher Bill," and right now this legislation is stuck in two House Committees - The Speicher Bill, S 1339, is about 10 feet from the finish line and that is where it will die, IF the two House Congressional committees do not act on this legislation.
Quick action is required. As you all know S 1339, the "Speicher Bill" passed the Senate. It now has to be discharged from two Congressional Committees. Those committees are Judiciary, headed by Congressman Sensenbrenner and International Relations, headed by Congressman Hyde.
With a short Congressional session left, we need to make sure the "Speicher Bill" gets out of these committees. We don't want this bill lost, among the many other pending bills. If it doesn't get out of these committees, we will probably loose the bill for this session and have to start over again next year.
Windows of opportunity are few and far between in the POW issue and they close quickly. With the current world situation, some Iraqi might just be looking for a way out of Iraq and Speicher could be his ticket. However, that won't happen unless S 1339 becomes law and that won't happen if the bill doesn't clear these two committees.
Contact Congressman Sensenbrenner, (Wisconsin, 9th District) Chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the following numbers Personal Office: 202 225-5101, Fax 202 225-3190 Committee Office: 202 225-3951 Fax: 202 225-7682, District Office: Brookfield, WI - Tel: 262 784-1111
Contact Congressman Hyde, (Illinois, 6th District) Chairman of International Relations at the following numbers, Personal Office: 202 225-4561 Fax: 202 225-1166 Committee Office: 202 225-5021 Fax: 202 225-2035 District Office: Addison, Illinois - Tel: 630 832-5950.
Ask that they discharge S 1339, also known as the "Speicher Bill" from their committees. Time is critical! Make the calls and send the faxes, now.
Right now Scott Speicher's best chance may be an Iraqi citizen looking to escape Saddam's terror.
Is Scott Speicher Alive? - Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, of the Washington Times reported on September 13th that U.S. Intelligence continues to receive reports "indicating Iraq is holding an American pilot believed to be Cmdr. Speicher." According to their column "President Bush, in his litany of Iraq's broken promises to the United Nations, accused Baghdad yesterday of failing to account for hundreds of missing prisoners, including an American pilot."
"The president referred to the case of missing Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher in his speech on Iraq to the United Nations. Mr. Bush stated Baghdad has broken its promise to the United Nations to return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands following the 1991 Gulf war. Iraq currently holds more than 600 people, including Kuwaitis, Saudis, Indians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iranians, Egyptians, Bahrainis and Omanis, Mr. Bush said. All are unaccounted for. The president then added: "One American pilot is among them."
"Cmdr. Speicher was flying an F-18 near Baghdad in 1991 when it was hit with a missile. He was declared killed in action a few days later. Last year, however, he was reclassified as missing and the Navy is close to a decision on a further change to "missing-in-action, captured."
"U.S. intelligence continues to receive reports indicating Iraq is holding an American pilot believed to be Cmdr. Speicher."
U.S. Negotiator To North Korea - James A. Kelly, an Assistant Secretary of State, and Senior diplomat heads for North Korea next month. According to a New York Times article, dated Sept. 26, by David E. Sanger, "Administration officials say they intend to have a wide-ranging discussion with North Korea that will cover its missile production and exports, its huge array of conventional weapons within reach of South Korea and its history of repression. There will undoubtedly be revived talk about its nuclear program, which has been frozen since 1994 under an agreement with the United States."
Our question - Does Mr. Kelly plan to ask about the live POWs from the Korean War and the 4 supposed "deserters" in North Korea?
Referring to the supposed deserters DPMO's own analyst, I. O. Lee wrote in March of 1996 "According to North Korean defectors, PFC Dresnok is married to a North Korean and has a daughter. One of the North Korean defectors met SGT. Jenkins in a coffee shop in Pyongyang. SGT. Jenkins told the North Korean defector that he is now ready to return to America. The American deserters live in the "foreigner's apartments", Chukehon-dong, Mangyongdae-kuyok, west-side of Pyongyang."
Lee continued "A second, larger group of Americans is comprised of US service members, most likely POWs from the Korean War and possibly Vietnam War era. There have been numerous reports of both American and British POWs in North Korea. One of the most compelling reports received over the years was a sighting reported to DoD by a Romanian in 17 Feb 1988...."
"...Several defector reports site that there have been numerous Americans teaching English and American customs at the foreign language department in Amnekagang College or a military reconnaissance school in Pyongyang. These English language instructors are sometimes identified as U.S. defectors, but more frequently as "American POWs."
"...The analysis of numerous live sighting reports correlate that American POWs live in a group compounds in various locations in Pyongyang and its suburbs and perhaps other places in DPRK. POWs movements in DPRK are apparently controlled by the North Korean Government."
The report concludes; "there are too many live sighting reports, specifically observations of several Caucasians in a collective farm by Romanians and the North Korean defectors' eyewitness of Americans in DPRK to dismiss that there are no American POWs in North Korea."
We've been asking, What About The Live POWs? for years.
Why won't the government negotiators ask?
North Korea Admits Kidnaping of Japanese Citizens - According to an article in the New York Daily News, from the News Wires Services, "North Korean President Kim Jong Il admitted that his country kidnaped about a dozen Japanese citizens to teach spies language and culture."
"This will never happen again," he was quoted as saying by a Japanese Foreign Ministry official. "It is regrettable, and I apologize sincerely." According to the article, four of the victims are still alive and will be reunited with their families.
North Korea's Active Program To Kidnap Americans - A U.S. intelligence report dated 15 August 1962, reported the capture of a North Korean who had infiltrated into South Korea. According to the North Korean, "He and his 3 companions reportedly were to explore infiltration routes, kidnap US servicemen and return them to NKPR (North Korea)." Between 1963 and 1968 six men disappeared, near the DMZ, some under rather strange circumstance. All were declared deserters. As recently as three years ago, four of those men were still alive.
The North Koreans have admitted to kidnaping Japanese citizens. So why wouldn't they have kidnaped American servicemen?
The Military says the 4 surviving American soldiers who disappeared off the DMZ in Korea, in the 1960's, are deserters... Like everything else, saying it doesn't make it so.
Is it possible that some or all of the six American servicemen who disappeared near the DMZ, in the mid 60's might have been kidnaped
Maybe Someone Didn't Get The Memo - On June 21st 2002, Sgt. Scottie B. Robinson disappeared from his duty station near the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The Army now carries Sgt. Robinson as a deserter. But is he? Could he be a victim of foul play?
Sgt. Robinson, a nine year Army veteran, with a nine year old son, re-enlisted this year and was recently promoted to Sgt. He last spoke with his mother in May and according to her everything was fine. The Army stated he was not under suspicion of any wrong doing, at the time of his disappearance. So, why would he desert?
The following is excerpted from a Stars and Stripes Pacific edition article, dated July 31st , by Jim Lea, - "When Scottie Robinson joined the U.S. Army nine years ago, his mother says, an Army recruiter visited her at home and her office frequently."
"I don't know why he came so often," Geraldine Bromell, of Bolivia, N.C., said in a telephone interview Sunday. "Maybe he thought I was going to try to talk my son out of enlisting. I wouldn't have done that. He wanted to join and I told him it was a good thing and that I was proud of him." Now, she's not so sure. Perhaps, she said, "I should have told him not to join."
"Robinson, 31, a cook at Camp Castle north of Seoul, has been missing from his unit for more than a month. He was first listed as absent without leave on June 19. On Thursday - Bromell's 53rd birthday - she received a letter from the Army saying Robinson's name has been dropped from his unit's records, his pay has been stopped and he has been declared a deserter."
"Maj. Brian Maka, 2nd Infantry Division public affairs officer, said late Monday that Robinson is believed to have left his post of his own accord. "There is no indication of foul play," Maka said. Because of that, he said, "there is no major search effort by the military police or [Criminal Investigation Command]." In AWOL cases when foul play is not suspected, he said, "the soldier's unit conducts a local search. The unit calls the soldier's family and friends to tell them to convince the AWOL soldier to return to his unit." Maka also said Robinson, who was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the division's 2nd Engineer Battalion, Engineer Brigade, was not under investigation for anything at the time of his disappearance. Robinson last was seen the night of June 17 with another soldier in a bar in Tongduchon, outside Camp Castle."
"Bromell said she doesn't know why her son would have deserted. "He was assigned to Kuwait until last December and I was glad when he left there. He re-enlisted in February and made sergeant in April. "The last time I talked to him on the telephone was in May and he seemed happy," she said. "It was his second time in Korea. He never mentioned having any problems over there and seemed to like his job. He never had any problems in the Army that I know of."
"In their last phone call, she said, "We talked about him coming home in December. He was going to help buy his younger sister a car to go to college in. He also wanted to be here for his son's ninth birthday. The boy loves his father very much "always before when my son would come home, then leave, the boy would cry a lot. We haven't told him yet that his father is missing."
Did Sgt. Scottie Robinson desert? Maybe.... but perhaps the Army should be looking at other options. At the very least the Army should be looking for and asking questions and not waiting for Sgt. Robinson to just show up.
Soldier Missing From West Point - On July 14th Sgt. Alan Two Crow disappeared from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Two Crow, the West Point "Soldier of the Month" for July disappeared after leaving a party held in living quarters located on the grounds of West Point.
According to a New York Daily News Article, dated September 22nd, by Derek Rose, "The military sent a letter in August to Two Crow's ex-wife, accusing him of going AWOL and threatening court-martial."
The Times Herald-Record, in an article dated Sept. 24, by Wayne A. Hall reported, "The body of Sgt. Alan Two-Crow was positively identified yesterday and preliminary findings suggest he broke his neck in an accidental fall. Family members, angry over what they said was the Army's botched attempts to locate the Military Police officer, demanded a special investigation."
"He had been missing for more than two months. Two-Crow's body was found off a path 200 to 300 feet from a playground outside a West Point housing complex used by regular Army personnel. The path ran through rugged, boulder-strewn woods, connecting Two-Crow's barracks with the Stony Lonesome housing complex, where he was visiting. The distance between the barracks and housing complex is approximately a half-mile."
"A search involving what West Point said were hundreds of military and state police officers began July 17, shortly after Two-Crow's weekend pass was up and he didn't report for duty. Two civilians found him in two hours of searching at about 6 p.m. Saturday."
Soldier Missing From Guantanamo Bay - What happened to Sgt. Ryan Foraker? Foraker disappeared from the U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday September 24th. The following is excerpted from a September 27th article by Carl Burnett Jr. of the Eagle-Gazette - "An U.S. Army reservist, who is a 1989 Fairfield Union graduate, has turned up missing at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"I talked to him on the phone an hour and a half before he came up missing," Angie Foraker said from her Logan home. "He wasn't depressed and was looking forward to coming home to his two girls in seven weeks."
Staff Sgt. Ryan Foraker, 31, was reported missing after he failed to turn up for duty at 5 a.m. Tuesday. Foraker had been activated as part of the 342 Military Police Company based out of Fort Hayes, Columbus, in mid-January."
"...Angie said the military told her the last time Ryan was seen was outside his barracks at 1:47 a.m. Tuesday. Angie said she talked to Ryan on the telephone at about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday. His clothes, including a wallet
with his identification, were found on a cliff overlooking a beach. The military told the Forakers they have not found a body, but were searching."
"After the Eagle-Gazette contacted the public affairs office at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday, a spokeswoman confirmed Foraker was missing, but could not release any details. Army officials dismissed suggestions by the Associated Press that accused Taliban and al-Qaida detainees on the island had anything to do with the disappearance and said Foraker had never been disciplined or showed signs of stress."
"It's not like my son," said Ann Foraker, Ryan's mother. "He had just learned to swim and has always been afraid of heights. I don't think he would have climbed a cliff to jump into the water."
"Foraker was a 14-year veteran, who had served the first four years in active duty and the last 10 as a reservist.
"He was a squared-away NCO (Non Commissioned Officer)," said Foraker's father-in-law Thomas Clark. "He loved his family and he was looking forward to getting back for deer season. We were planning a big deer
hunt with his friends," Clark said. "Our calendars were based around the hunting seasons," Angie said, smiling."
"Clark, a Navy veteran, said the fact that Foraker had left his identification up on the cliffs during a swim makes no sense. "He always said he had to lock up his identification when he went to the beach," Clark said. "I don't think he would have left it up on the cliffs. Anyone that's been in the military know you trust your buddies
with your life, but not with your money. He wouldn't have left that on the cliff." Angie said that Ryan knew he could lose a rank if he had left his identification anywhere."
"The Forakers have said they have tried to call the base for information, only to be passed from one person to another. "I think they should be talking to us, at least to the family," Ann said. "Angie spent 20 minutes calling down to the base last night and we never did get any answers."
"I expect more from the Army than this," Clark said. "I just think the Army should be more considerate and let us know what is going on."
"That's what Angie wants. "I want to know what they are doing." Angie said. "Are they searching, what was going on in his last days. They told me they would call me and let me know what he had (for personal effects) and they haven't got back in touch with us."
"Ann said the commotion has been noticed by Ryan's 3-year-old daughter, Olivia. "Last night she was going to sleep and just asking me to punch the numbers in phone and let her talk to her Daddy," Ann said in a breaking
voice. "I told her I just couldn't reach him." "Angie said she wanted to get the story out, because that's what Ryan would have wanted.
"I have given my country three of my sons -- one in the Army, one in the Navy and one in the Air Force," Ann said. "This is not the way I expected to be treated. I want to know what is going on."
In January 1973 Petty Officer First Class Leonard Gene Smith disappeared from his ship at a Brooklyn, New York shipyard. The Navy declared, this husband and father a deserter and turned the case over to the FBI., never notifying local authorities that Smith had disappeared."
In 1999, Smith son sent his dad's fingerprints to the New York City Police Department. The prints matched a "John Doe" pulled from the East River in March 1973. We will never know if Petty Officer Smith fell or was pushed from his ship. It does seem clear however that Leonard Smith was not a deserter.
In 1967, Pfc. Allen Lee Adams, stationed at Fort Meyer disappeared and was labeled a deserter. In December of 1996, construction workers found his remains in a building under demolition in Washington D.C. PFC Adams had been murdered and his remains hidden for almost 30 years.
Robinson, Two Crow, Smith and Adams all had fine records, and came from solid backgrounds, yet they were quickly labeled deserters. We'll have to wait and see what the Military says about Foraker.
Let us all say a prayer that the Robinson and Foraker stories have a happier ending than that of Two Crow, Smith and Adams.
The Unaccounted For From The 1991 Gulf War - we must ask a very difficult question. Are the unaccounted for personnel of the 1991 Gulf War becoming a pawn, as we approach what could be the Second Gulf War? This is a road we really don't want to travel but it would be irresponsible on our part if we did not address this difficult question.
During his speech before the United Nations, President Bush called for the enforcement of U.N. resolutions against Iraq. The following is excerpted from that speech. "In 1991, the U.N. Security Council, through Resolutions 686 and 687, demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise."
"Last year, the Secretary General's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwaiti, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for; more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them."
We commend President Bush for citing U.N. resolution 686 and 687 regarding unaccounted for personnel from the 1991 Gulf War, among the many resolutions Iraq has violated. We wish the statement had been stronger, but that's our opinion. We also wish that the previous administration, along with the U.N. would have enforced these resolutions earlier, instead of giving Saddam a free pass since 1991.
Our concerned developed when we read the President's Proclamation declaring September 20th, POW/MIA Recognition Day. The following comes from that proclamation -- "Nearly 60 years after the end of World War II, the fate of more than 78,000 Americans who fought in that conflict remains unknown. More than 8,100 from the Korean War are missing, more than 120 from the Cold War, more than 1,900 from the Vietnam War, and three from the Gulf War. These Americans, who dedicated their lives to preserving and protecting our freedoms, will never be forgotten."
"...and three from the Gulf War." Three from the Gulf War. When did we go from "One American pilot is among them" to "three from the Gulf War."
A DPMO letter dated, July 19, 1999, signed by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Jones, addressed to the National Alliance of Families stated; " There were 13 servicemen Killed-in-Action/Body Not recovered."
|USAF||AC-130 Over Water Loss||10 KIA/BNR|
|USN||A-6 Over Water Loss||1 KIA/BNR|
|USN||F/A 18||1 KIA/BNR|
This list is interesting due to the fact that the Air Force, in a December 13, 2000 letter to the National Alliance of Families stated; "Air Force members who were listed as KIA-BNR have been recovered and identified either individually or as a group. We do not have any unaccounted members from that (Gulf War) conflict."
What do we know about the "three from the Gulf War?" Much is known about Scott Speicher pilot of one of the F/A 18's. The other two Navy Officers are Barry Cook and Robert Dwyer. Cook was aboard the A-6 along with Patrick Connor. Aircraft wreckage, along with remains eventually washed up on shore. The remains were returned to the United States and identified as Patrick Connor. There was no trace of Cook.
Little is known about the Dwyer loss other than he flew an F/A 18 like Speicher.
"Three unaccounted for from the Gulf War..." Why now? Why are KIA/BNR's Barry Cook and Robert Dwyer now considered among the unaccounted for? Granted all KIA/BNR's are unaccounted for. If Cook and Dwyer are now mentioned in the same breath as Scott Speicher, we have to ask if the U.S. government is now considering status changes for Cook and Dwyer? If they are what evidence do they have and why now?
What bothers us about this newfound concern for the three unaccounted for, from the Gulf War is this:
IF, and of course this is a HUGE IF, Saddam were to comply with all resolutions relating to weapons inspectors, dismantled its nuclear facilities, stop the manufacture of chemical and biological weapons and destroyed any existing weapons, would we go to war with Iraq for violations of Resolutions 686 and 687, regarding unaccounted for personnel. Would we go to war for the "more than 600 people?" Would we go to war for the "one American Pilot" or "three from the Gulf War?"
This Is Truly Disappointing - In reporting on the President's U.N. Speech, Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service, referred to Scott Speicher as "Jeffrey Speicher." The article distributed on line by the Dept. of Defenses Link Military News stated; "Bush said that if Iraq wants peace and an end to U.N. sanctions, it must take a number of steps:"
Among the steps outlined in the article was; "...Release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate
is still unknown. U.S. Navy pilot Cmdr. Jeffrey Speicher is one of those still missing."
A September 20th article also by Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service once again referred to Scott Speicher as Jeffrey stating: "...Iraq needs to account for Navy Cmdr. Jeff Speicher, shot down on a mission over Iraq during the Gulf War. Speicher has been listed as missing since."
"Speicher has been listed as missing since." Speicher has not been listed as missing since the Gulf War. As we all know the most recent change in Speicher's status came in January 2001 when he went from KIA/BNR to MIA.
These are the kind of mistakes we would expect from mainstream media not an agency of the DOD. So much for public awareness......
Nelson urges expert to probe Speicher case - From the Times Union, Sept 27th - "Weapons inspection teams dispatched to Iraq should include an expert who can investigate what happened to a Jacksonville Navy pilot shot down in the Persian Gulf War 11 years ago, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says. Nelson, D-Fla., formalized his request Wednesday in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell."
"We must use all tools at our disposal to obtain as much information as possible that could determine the fate of Capt. [Scott] Speicher," Nelson wrote."
"...Speicher was presumed dead after his FA-18 Hornet was shot down over Iraq the opening night of the war. But the Pentagon reclassified him as missing in action last year based largely on Central Intelligence Agency conclusions that he survived the crash and was captured by the Iraqis."
"Intelligence sources have reported seeing Speicher imprisoned in Baghdad as recently as a year ago. Navy Secretary Gordon England is mulling another change in Speicher's status, to prisoner of war. Nelson and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also urged Senate leaders Wednesday to include a reference to Speicher in any resolution authorizing President Bush to use force against Iraq."
Remains Recovered in North Korea - a Dept. of Defense Press Release dated September 24th announced the repatriation of "remains believe to be eight American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War."
According to the Press Release, "A joint team operating near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea recovered five sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces November-December 1950."
"Additionally, a second team recovered three sets of remains in the area along the Kuryong River near the junction of Unsan and Kujang counties, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. The area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950. Approximately 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign."
"...Twenty-four individual joint operations have been conducted since 1996 in North Korea, during which 167 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers have been recovered. Thirteen have been positively identified and returned to their families for burial with military honors."
Our Meeting - there really was one, if we had the video tapes we could prove it! Seriously, as soon as we get the tapes, we will let you all k>
Bits 'N' Pieces Index 2002